Upwey South Primary School officially opened on Tuesday 16th June 1964. The school was opened by HT Neil Jeffrey and was attended by 120 children in the following classes.
Prep: Mrs Warner – 26, Grade 1: Mrs Coxhill – 17, Grade 2: Miss Allen – 21, Grade 3/4: Mr Vithers – 31, Grade 5/6: Mr Jeffrey – 25.
By 1978, with the increase in student population and accommodation being very cramped in many portable classrooms, long-awaited work was begun on the “New Building”. This comprised eight classrooms, a library, an art room, additional toilets and teacher work areas. The classrooms were provided with wet areas, store rooms and shared withdrawal rooms. The design, a modified open plan with movable walls, allowed areas to be opened up for shared classes and work groups. The administration and staffroom facilities were also upgraded, with one of the original six classrooms converted into a staffroom and staff resource room, and another became the principal’s office, general office and store room. These extensions were occupied in November 1979 and officially opened in March 1980. This is the main Admin block of the school today.
The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) was formed during 1983. The object was to have an association which would promote the development of facilities, stimulate interaction between parents and teachers, support social events and generally advance USPS. The PTA grew because of the genuine dedication of its members and continues to play a leading role in the school today.
In 1991, the school joined an nternational student delegation exchange program, “International School to School Experience” (I.S.S.E). This program has a main goal of contributing to international understanding and world peace by offering children opportunities to meet and make friends with young students from other nations. Over the years we have had exchanges to USA, Mexico, India, Japan and China. This year our exchange is with Thomas Abraham School, Lima, Peru.) We will welcome 10 students and 2 teachers for 3 weeks in July-August.
May 1992 saw the construction and completion of the $300,00 dual purpose gymnasium and ‘safe place building’ which had represented four years of planning and fundraising. The introduction of the gym enabled many programs to be introduced to the Upwey South Primary School program including a reange of sporting activities. The Swimming Program at Monbulk Pool has continued to provide quality tuition in water safety, swimming and survival skills at all levels. Athletics including track and field skills are built into our PE program. Over the years the school has produced teams and individuals who qualified to participate in Zone and State level competitions. Success through the Interschool Sport Competitions in Rounders, Netball, Volleyball, Teeball, Soccer and Football has seen several teams advance to Zone and State competitions. We have also had many teams have success in the McDonalds Hooptime competition since first entering the competition in 1990.
We celebrated our 30th year in 1994. We developed a strong curiculum program suppported by Library, Art, Physical Education and Reading Recovery/Special Needs. The students undertook studies in eight curriculum areas; English, Maths, Studies of the Society and the Environment, Science, Technology, Health and Physical Education, The Arts and Languages other the English (LOTE). Our curriculum is now based on AusVELS and includes Japanese language and a strong focus on Inquiry Learning. Digial technologies are a key tool in developing our students as learners of the 21st Century.
At the end of 2011 we said farewell and “Thank You” to our Principal, Belinda Jones. Our new building ‘Forest Oak’ was opened 2011 and is home to our Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2 students and teachers. Our P-6 curriculum is based on the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (AusVELS) framework. The CAFE Workshop approach to reading (Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expanding Vocabulary) has been implemented successfully from Prep to Year 6.
In May 2012 Anne Ng was appointed as the new Principal of Upwey South Primary School. In 2014 we conducted our whole-school review as part of our four year cycle of school improvement. We reflected on our achievements and then agreed on our goals and priorities for the next 4 years. In 2014 we also celebrated our 50th anniversary with many special events throughout the year. Mr Andrew Weaver joined the staff team as Assistant Principal at the start of 2015. Currently we have an enrolment of 258 students in 11 classes. Upwey South Primary School will continue to offer quality education for its students and we look forward to the future with a great deal of optimism and pride.